Throughout the last couple of years, we have gotten a reminder of reality surrounding the food that comes into our homes and how it gets there. Global supply chain issues following the Covid-19 pandemic have been a massive reminder of just how much is out of our control when it comes to getting healthy, fresh food into our homes. Now, prices are rising, availability is scarce, and people are empowered to take things into their own hands.
Along with the supply on grocery store shelves shrinking, prices are growing. High-quality produce is becoming even more expensive than it used to be, and organic fruits and veggies were already out of reach for many consumers. With a slew of problems to solve, some extra time at home, and a bit of internet research, many households have started to opt-in to home gardening and growing their own produce. Not only is this approach full of health benefits, but it reduces some of the environmental stress our food supply chain creates. Small kitchen herb gardens all the way to large backyard greenhouse gardens have so many benefits and aren’t at all difficult to get started.
Understanding Produce Supply
This might come as a shock, but a lot of the produce available in grocery stores is over a year old. Yes, you read that right! By the time your apples, onions, and other produce are sitting on your kitchen counter, they’ve been passed through different warehouses and transportation trucks for longer than seems possible. Since it’s often cheaper for grocery stores to find their supply from other countries than buying local, this is a prominent reality across the U.S.
Next time you grab a store-bought apple out of your fridge, think twice about eating it before you wash it! Since a lot of the produce that comes into the U.S. is from other countries, it has to be sprayed with chemicals prior to crossing the border so that pests and insects from other places are not brought in – even produce labeled “organic” can end up covered in chemicals before it ends up in your fruit bowl!
Nutrition is in Your Hands with Home Gardening
If you’re tired of the elusive practices and vague explanations offered by produce suppliers across the country, consider home gardening. Not only does growing your own produce put you in control of how you fuel your body, but it helps cut down on emissions from transportation, overcomes tricky food shortages or supply issues, and helps you build a deeper relationship with nature around you. Let’s dive into some of the amazing benefits of home gardening:
1) Direct Reduction in Carbon Emissions
Many consumers across the globe are starting to gain a better understanding of the carbon footprint they leave on the earth, with a major contributor being consumption practices. Instead of buying produce at your grocery store, which likely has traveled thousands of miles via boat, truck, or plane to get on that specific shelf, you can take a few steps out your back door and pick an apple off the tree in your yard. That’s a MASSIVE reduction in your carbon footprint.
2) Homegrown is Healthier
When it comes to chemicals being used on your produce, when you grow it at home, you have complete control. You can avoid toxic additives and grow organic food at a much more affordable price point. Additionally, you can keep your soil healthier and more nutrient-dense, leading to more nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables in the end.
3) Top-notch Taste
You’ll notice a difference in the taste of your produce nearly immediately. Since you’ll be growing the food and eating it fresh, you’ll be consuming your crops when they are at their most ripe and flavorful, and the mineral-rich soil will help illuminate the natural flavors. If you’re not a big fruit/veggie-lover, growing your own could totally change your outlook!
4) Avoid Supply Chain Hiccups
With supply chain problems being a continuous problem as of late, it’s harder to find what you’re looking for at the store. If you grow your food, you’ll have complete control over what is ending up on your plate and can avoid dealing with food supply shortages that seem to be never-ending.
5) Increase Connection to Your Food
Gardening is a great way to get extra vitamin D, build connection to the earth around you, and have an ever-growing appreciation for your food. Taking part in the process from start to finish can help you and your family change your relationship with food and form healthier habits across the board.
Getting Started is Easy
If you feel like gardening is something you’d like to try, but are worried about the effort it takes, start small! You don’t have to have an entire farm during your first year of learning. You can have a little herb garden on your kitchen windowsill or grow tomatoes in a large planter outside, then go up from there. With its increasing popularity, there are many guides on the internet to cultivating a successful garden at home.
Once you start seeing the difference in cost, nutritional value, taste, and happiness, you’ll be hooked! You can scale up a bit more each year until you become the neighbor with a year-round greenhouse for your produce.
Expert Level Gardening
After a few years of learning, growing, and becoming a home-garden expert, you might feel ready to take it to the next level. When looking into greenhouses for your yard, you might find that construction feels complicated and costly, but with an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) like Ekodome’s structures, it becomes simple and cost-effective.
Our geodesic domes are multi-purpose, but many of our customers find them to be the perfect structures for at-home greenhouses. We offer different sizes and structures so you can pick the perfect one for your gardening needs.
Does Home Gardening Solve All Your Problems?
It may not take away all the challenges you face, but it’ll ensure you have a consistent supply of affordable and healthy food just a few steps away. Not only that, but you’ll get to enjoy time gardening and take pride in the positive work you’re doing to reduce carbon emissions. It seems like a win-win, right?! If you’re not fully convinced yet, don’t be afraid to start small. You’ll graduate from your wine-bottle herb garden to some backyard garden areas, to a whole greenhouse overgrown with amazing produce!
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